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Praying For Purity

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks
The Truth Network Radio
November 5, 2022 12:00 pm

Praying For Purity

Encouraging Prayer / James Banks

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November 5, 2022 12:00 pm

In this episode, James and Robby discuss how the power of prayer can be a major support and comfort when struggling to have a pure heart like Jesus asks of us.

Finishing Well
Hans Scheil
Encouraging Prayer
James Banks
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Stu Epperson
The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore

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This is the Truth Network. Encouraging Prayer. God offers an open invitation for His people to talk with Him at any time about anything. On Encouraging Prayer, Dr. James Banks, author of the best-selling prayers for prodigals and many other books on prayer, provides weekly biblical insight to help you learn to love to pray.

And now, here's James. Oh, we have such an important topic for today's Encouraging Prayer. We're going to talk about praying for purity. James, you and I were just talking how important this is.

I mean, let's go a little further. Yeah, Robbie, I'm so glad we're talking about this today because purity in our hearts and thought life really matters. Think about Jesus' words, blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. But at the same time, when we talk about it, I think it's easy for people to be put off, so we have to be careful not to be self-righteous in any way. For starters, let's underscore the fact that God's grace saves us, not our own efforts. James 3.2 reminds us we all stumble in many ways, and God's grace is not a license for us to just keep on sinning and ask for forgiveness. Scripture also talks about that in plenty of places.

Yeah, one of the reasons I think it's so important for us to talk about purity in our thought life is because the influence, really, on pornography has today. And I know I've encountered this again and again as I help have led these, you know, Mask and Journey boot camps, you know, for young men. And then as a pastor, you know, you've seen a lot of fight with this battle as well, haven't you?

I really have. Both men and women struggle with it. Pastors struggle with it. I mean, it's so accessible.

It's just a click away on the computer, but the outcome can be devastating. It wreaks havoc in marriages and relationships and causes people to objectify each other and just, you know, fills their minds constantly. So this is a great place to start when we talk about praying for purity. There's a passage about this in Job, one of the oldest books in the Bible. Job 31.3 says, I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust of the young woman, for what has God above chosen for us? What is our inheritance from the almighty on high? Isn't it calamity for the wicked and misfortune for those who do evil? Doesn't he see everything I do and every step I take?

So there's that warning there. But also, as you and I were talking about earlier, this is really about joy. I mean, the question is, why has Job made a covenant with his eyes? And the answer is because there's something so much better. Wow. I mean, it's amazing how God's Word addresses so much, isn't it?

It really is. I mean, think about how old the book of Job is. And again, really, this isn't just about pornography. It can be about struggling with your thoughts, about another person, you know, an impure relationship you know isn't pleasing to God. Just this last week, I saw on social media a woman I know who posted a picture of herself in a Halloween costume and someone said, Oh, what about your husband? What did he go as? And she answered and she later took it down, but she said, he went as an adulterer.

He's shacking up with a woman in another state. And I thought, you know, so today what I'd like to do is talk to the person who is struggling with personal purity, you know, talk you down off the ledge, so to speak, encourage you that God really wants to help us in this scripture talks about being transformed by the renewing of our minds and what really, and that really is possible. And the great news is that our struggles can get easier as we keep giving them to God. But the challenge is we have to make that step. Oh, that's so right. I mean, we've talked about this before when we talked about fighting temptation, and it really helps to call on God right at that moment, doesn't it?

Yeah, it does. I really think that's half the battle. If we just let God in when we are struggling, you know, especially when it's something He's promised to help us with. He's promised in 1 Corinthians 10.13 to make a way out every time.

And even when we're not in a place of temptation, it's good to pray ahead, so to speak, you know, about circumstances where we may find ourselves. I heard a great quote from Mark Twain about this earlier this week. It's easier to stay out than to get out. Think about that. It's easier to stay out than to get out.

Yeah, Dr. David Jeremiah shared that. I think it's a great reminder when we're struggling with something. It's harder to resist at first when we've gotten used to giving in, but even then, if we keep resisting with God's help as time passes, it will get easier for us to stay out.

You've mentioned time more than once as we've been talking about this. It does take time, doesn't it? I think if we're honest, we have to say that it does. We may wish that God would just zap us and take certain desires away, but we actually grow stronger through the battle, and we learn to trust Him more. And one of the things I think it's so important is take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on Him. The devil wants us to be preoccupied with our own failures and the way we've messed up, but that's not where our strength or our happiness lies. And this is also where filling our minds with God's Word and praising Him through it can make such a difference. We really need to be resolved like Daniel, whom Scripture says, purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. And we can do this when we remember, and here's where God's grace comes in again, that Jesus is our righteousness. It's not in us, it's in Him. We're His brothers and sisters, and we've received this beautiful gift from Him, and there's so much to live for. Oh, I think it's such an important part of the battle for purity is to realize that we don't miss out on the good that God has for us when we really try to follow Him.

That's just it. We don't want to miss out on that, and that's a great thing for us to pray about, to ask for faith so that God can help us see that more and more. This isn't just about rules or legalism.

Again, it's about something better, and we really can trust God for that. I love George McDonald's quote here. What I've been mentioning a lot lately, so forgive me if I've said it recently, obedience is the opener of eyes. Obedience is the opener of eyes. The more we obey, the more we'll be in step with the Spirit, and the more we'll see the good things God has in store for us. So we need to love Him and let Him in and pray for His Spirit to fill us and give us the help we need. Darrell Bock I close today with a prayer for us since you gave us the idea, right, in our listeners that we will all grow in this and see Him more and more. George McDonald Please do.

Darrell Bock Oh, Lord Jesus, thank you. Thank you for the purity that you gave us through your blood, and Lord, help us to grow into that, like on earth where it is in heaven, Lord. We pray that we would walk in that place where we could get more and more like you to be conformed to you.

It's such a beautiful idea, and we want to live that. Help us to see it as only you can through your strength and through us reaching for you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen. You can hear more from Pastor James by visiting his website,, or by visiting Peace Church in Durham, North Carolina. May God bless you and encourage you as you pray.
Whisper: small.en / 2022-11-08 15:31:31 / 2022-11-08 15:33:43 / 2

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